Air quality advisory issued once again for Metro Vancouver

Sep 14 2020, 9:02 am

An air quality advisory issued for Metro Vancouver is now going on its seventh straight day.

According to Environment Canada, the “special air quality statement” is in effect for:

  • Metro Vancouver – NE
  • Metro Vancouver – NW
  • Metro Vancouver – SE
  • Metro Vancouver – SW

The weather agency says that “wildfire smoke from fires in Washington and Oregon has moved northward into the region and is forecast to impact air quality.”

The advisory has been in effect since September 8 for Metro Vancouver and the Fraser Valley Regional District.

The weather agency notes, however, that smoke levels are expected to be lower on Monday and ” localized smoke concentrations may vary widely across the region as winds and temperatures change, and as wildfire behaviour changes.”

On Saturday, Vancouver temporarily had the worst air quality in the world, when compared to major cities.

Fine particulate matter, also known as PM2.5, refers to airborne solid or liquid droplets with a diameter of 2.5 micrometres (µm) or less. PM2.5 can easily penetrate indoors because of its small size.

Ground-level ozone is not emitted directly into the air, but rather it is formed when nitrogen oxides (pollutants emitted when fuels are burned) and volatile organic compounds (emitted from solvents) react in the air in the presence of sunlight.

“Smoke is causing poor air quality and reducing visibility. Smoke is expected or occurring,” noted Environment Canada.

In the meantime, anyone with chronic underlying medical conditions or acute infections such as COVID-19 is advised to postpone or reduce outdoor physical activity until the advisory is lifted, “especially if breathing feels uncomfortable.”

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